Subject details

On satisfying the requirements of this subject, students will have the knowledge and skills at an Introductory level of Sanskrit to:

  1. Pronounce all 49 sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet, read aloud simple example sentences, and chant the weekly verses accurately and joyously
  2. Write all 49 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet correctly, including conjunct consonants; write simple sentences accurately and aesthetically
  3. Use a vocabulary of 120 items
  4. Recognise and use the grammatical structures to read short texts and to translate basic sentences into and out of Sanskrit. These structures include: singular, dual and plural verb endings, for active and middle forms; the eight nominal cases; pronouns and adjectives; and the gerund
  5. Conduct simple conversations on such topics as: common greetings; friends and families; food and drink; and times of day
  6. Demonstrate a general understanding of the history, origins, status, and uses of Sanskrit.

In order to achieve these learning outcomes, each week, students are expected to study as follows:

  1. 30 minutes on weekly verse: Listen to the paradigm and explanation in the e‐text. Practice singing the verse. Upload the audio into Wattle.
  2. 30 minutes on spoken Sanskrit: Listen to the explanation in the e‐text. Practice and memorise the forms. Complete the online quiz as required.
  3. 7 hours on practising grammar and written Sanskrit: Listen to the explanation and read through the grammar notes in the e‐text. Complete the written exercises and self‐correct your work. Upload your work into Wattle.
  4. 90 minutes participating in one online class via Adobe Connect.
    • Singular verb endings
    • Verbs in the dual
    • The Plural
    • Nominative and accusative
    • Instrumental and dative
    • Ablative and genitive
    • Locative and vocative
    • Neuter nouns in ‐a
    • The middle voice
    • The verb ‘to be’
    • Feminine nouns in ‐ā
    • Nouns in ‐i
    • Feminien nouns in ‐ī
    • Sandhi rules
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Audio/Video conferencing
      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Embedded Multimedia
      • Glossary
      • Online Quizzes/Tests
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Lecture capture
      • Virtual Classroom
      • Web links
      • Wikis
    • Online materials

      • FAQs
      • Online Assessment
      • Printable format materials
      • Quizzes
      • Resources and Links
    • Other materials

      • Audio
      • Video


This subject is for students who have not previously learned Sanskrit. However, Sanskrit is a very demanding and highly technical language. This subject is not recommended for students who have not previously studied at tertiary level, or who have not studied a foreign language.

Special requirements

  • OtherDetails -

    To successfully engage in this subject students will need the following:

    • Laptop or computer
    • Computer camera (either inbuilt or webcam)
    • Headset with microphone
    • Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browser
    • Reliable internet access
    • Access to a scanner or smartphone.

Sanskrit, the classical language of India, has long been renowned for its beauty,
subtlety and complexity. It is the key to the civilisational treasures of Hinduism,
Buddhism and Jainism, and provides direct access to a vast repository of literary,
scientific and philosophical wisdom. At the ANU we seek to balance the traditional
practice of textual reception—reading and grammar—with language production—
speaking, chanting and singing—to provide a truly balanced curriculum. In this
beginner subject, students will be introduced to the grammar of classical Sanskrit,
learn to read easy classical texts and engage in the Living Tradition of Sanskrit
conversation, chanting and singing.

  • Weekly grammar exercises (10%)
  • Weekly recording of verses (10%)
  • In class written test (5%)
  • Spoken Sanskrit oral test (10%)
  • 'Take home' exam (30%)
  • 2 x translation assignments (35%)

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more: